Today we visit the community of Ritabou which is located in Bobonaro district. After the main town Maliana we have to cross a river and drive up to the mountain on the road. The branch health staff and 25 future RC volunteers already started with the volunteer training, which will last for the next 4 days. In our car we transport all necessary materials for the next couple of days: paper, water for the participants, flip-charts, markers and dissemination material (posters).
The volunteers, which have been selected by the community in a participatory process earlier on, are going to be trained in health topics, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement, principles of the Red Cross, responsibilities of being a RC volunteer, community mobilization, existing resources within the community as well as how to conduct door-to-door visits.
It is a very mixed group of people (young, older, men and women) who all share the interest to support their respective community in improving the health status and behavior. My role is to support CVTL and observe/advise throughout the training. After introducing ourselves (it is the first complete introduction I am capable of doing in Tetum) my colleagues continue to educate the eager volunteers about the work of the Red Cross. The training ends before it gets dark as participants have to walk home during daylight since the community doesn’t have electricity. At the end of the day I am very convinced that the community will work towards a better health and hygiene behavior and look forward to spend the next days in Ritabou.